Last November, I did something that I never thought I’d do: I stopped all marketing activity for my business.
It wasn’t my intention to stop marketing. There was no brilliant strategy behind my decision,
What Made Me Decide to Take a Marketing Holiday
All of my marketing, is done primarily to connect with people’s hearts, inspire, and uplift. And, yes, I also wanted to announce products and programs I was excited about so people would buy or register.
The problem was, my head was so filled with what other people were telling me I should want and do, I was no longer sure whether I wanted a particular result because it was truly meaningful to me or because I wanted to look good to to other people.
It’s really hard to connect authentically with your audience when you aren’t connected with yourself. So, I decided that until I felt clear about what my heart desired for the business, I wouldn’t do any marketing.
What Does It Mean to “Stop Marketing”?
The term “marketing” can include just about anything we do that touches other people. Although I didn’t put a lot of advance thought into what I would or would not continue, what it came down to was if the activity didn’t make me feel good, I stopped doing it.
- I stopped going to networking events (not that I attended many to begin with)
- I stopped writing articles for the MojoZone.
- I stopped pitching my free strategy sessions and trying to get people into my marketing funnel.
- I stopped reading 99% of the business and marketing-related newsletters to which I subscribed.
- I dropped out of a couple professional development groups because they weren’t enough of a “net plus” to justify the time and energy I was putting into them.
- Although this isn’t directly related to business marketing, I stopped watching and reading the news and stopped watching and listening to advertisements.
What was interesting was how much I came to cherish the peace and quiet I got as a result from “unplugging.” I found I loved having the emotional and psychic space to journal and listen to my heart’s quiet voice.
As I write this, I can’t help but think how crazy this might sound to a lot of people. There was a time when I would have worried that by ignoring the larger conversation in my area of expertise, I would get too insular and miss out on all the important new trends and developments.
But in all honesty, I didn’t miss the noise at all. It’s been nearly nine months since I made the decision to unplug and I still have no desire to re-subscribe or go back to mainstream media.
How My Marketing Holiday Helped My Business
After a couple months, I noticed I was struggling a lot less with self-doubt. I wasn’t constantly engaged in second guessing my choices.
I began to trust my intuition and it became easier to trust my judgment when making decisions.
I also noticed something else, as I began to pay attention to what was in my heart and really listened to what my heart wanted, I became much more open to other people. Instead of screening my interactions with others through the filter of “how do I fit this into my sales strategy?” I enjoyed the experience of fully seeing and hearing people.
In addition to the simple of pleasure of enjoying other people, I’m discovering that as I’ve shifted my attention from sales strategy to being fully present and engaged, more people seem to appreciate what I offer and are showing an interest in hiring me.
Finally, taking a marketing holiday has given me a sense of ease and spaciousness when it comes to actually creating marketing.
I used to get a lot of performance anxiety when I had to write an article or write marketing copy. I think part of it is because I attached a lot of performance requirements to my marketing. Each requirement felt like a succession of hurdles I had to clear in order to feel good about what I was doing. Even when I was successful, I still worried “what about next time?”
My main objective for marketing is whether I am clearly communicating what is in my heart so that what I say can resonate with other people. If yes, I trust that the customers, revenue, and influence will follow. When I stopped worrying about what everyone was saying and focused on what it was that I wanted to say, allowing my heart to fully show up in my marketing got a lot easier.
When Does It Make Sense to Take a Marketing Holiday?
I know taking a vacation from marketing is not for everyone. I was feeling so overwhelmed and unsure of what I wanted to do next in my business, it didn’t really feel like a choice.
Although it wasn’t the cleanest decision, the consequences suggest it was the right thing to do at the time.
I’m curious, have you ever stopped promoting your business for an extended period of time? What was it that led to your decision? What were the consequences? Would you advise others to take a “marketing holiday?” Why or why not?